OFJ Field Journal from Jim Erickson - 10/29/95
A DAY OF MEETINGSMeetings. Sometimes I feel they are the bane of my existence. Sometimes I feel they were really productive and necessary. Flying a spacecraft can't be done without meetings, so you learn to live with them. But whatever you decide to do for a living, you end up having meetings.
We use meetings to educate ourselves on something, to decide what to do, or to educate others in the organization. Sometimes we have meetings to raise our spirits before or during crucial events. We even have meetings to schedule meetings! This is because some types of meetings require the same people, and can't happen simultaneously.
As time to Jupiter orbit insertion grows short, meetings seem to increase. This week is a dramatic example.
7:45 - 8:00 Read and respond to e-mail messages. E-mail is electronic mail.
8:00 - 9:00 Meet with project staff and others to decide what changes to make to the science data gathering that will occur shortly before and during the probe relay and Jupiter orbit insertion. The meeting ends early because we have to all go to another meeting:
9:00 - 10:00 All hands meeting. This was a gathering of all the people on the project. It was to enable the project manager to inform everyone about the overall decisions on the rapidly changing status of the tape recorder, and our plans for using it during the probe relay/Jupiter orbit insertion period.
10:00 - 11:00 Continued the 8:00 decision meeting on what changes to make to the science data gathering.
11:00-12:30 Command conference. At this meeting the decisions on what real- time commands are to be sent to the spacecraft for activities that can't be sent with the stored commands in a sequence load.
12:30 - 1:00 Quick lunch at the cafeteria (BLT on wheat with iced tea).
1:00 - 2:00 Meet with project staff and others to decide what changes to make to the Critical Engineering Sequence. This is the sequence of commands that the spacecraft will perform to relay the probe data, and to fire the main engine to place us into orbit as the first artificial satellite of Jupiter. This sequence of commands has been extensively verified and tested, and is designed to continue operating even if really bad things were to happen to the spacecraft. We take exceptional care, and hesitate to make even slight changes to this particular sequence.
2:00 - 3:00 Meet with the sequence builders to approve the last sequence to perform science on Jupiter approach, starting on 11/6/95. It is approved, and represents the last sequence to be executed on the spacecraft before arrival at Jupiter.
3:00 - 5:00 Teleconference with the Probe people at Ames Research Center, discussing the implementation of backup storage of the probe data. All of the probe data is supposed to be stored on the tape recorder, with some of the data also stored in Galileo's computer memory as a backup. Due to the tape recorder difficulties of the preceding weeks, we're increasing the amount of backup data.
All told, that was 8.5 hours of meetings in one day.
Wednesday was similar. We had an all day review of the project's plans for arrival at Jupiter, and whether the flight team (the people who work on the project to fly the spacecraft) are ready. We brought in experienced people from outside of JPL to look at what we have done to get ready, and to suggest any improvements. We want them to look for anything which we might be able to improve, and comment on whether we're ready. We know we have work left to do, and have plans to finish it all in time. The review team has to decide if we'll be able to get it all done and be ready in time.
The review team agrees. We'll be ready!